We investigated exercise capacity after fluid depletion in patients with moderate congestive heart failure (CHF). Twenty-one patients underwent ultrafiltration (mean volume ± SEM: 1,770 ± 135 ml). Echocardiography, tests of pulmonary function, and a cardiopulmonary exercise test with hemodynamic and esophageal pressure monitoring were performed before ultrafiltration and 3 months later. Tests without invasive measurements were repeated 4 and 30 days after ultrafiltration. Twenty-one control patients followed the same protocol but did not have ultrafiltration. Patients who underwent ultrafiltration and increased their oxygen consumption at peak exercise (peak VO2) by >10% at the 3-month evaluation (group A1, n = 9) were separated from those who did not (group A2, n = 8); 3 patients did not complete the follow-up. Four days after the procedure, peak VO2 had risen from 17.3 ± 0.8 to 19.3 ± 0.9 ml/min/ kg in group A1, and from 11.9 ± 0.7 to 14.1 ± 0.7 ml/min/kg in group A2 (p <0.01). Plasma norepinephrine and pulmonary function were consistent with a greater severity of the syndrome in group A2. At 3 months in group A1, the relations of filling pressure to cardiac index of the right and left ventricles were shifted upward; the esophageal pressure swing (differences between end-expiratory and end-inspiratory pressure) for a given tidal volume was lower; the peak exercise dynamic lung compliance had increased from 0.10 ± 0.05 to 0.14 ± 0.03 L/mm Hg (p <0.01). None of these changes were detected in group A2 and control patients. In moderate CHF, variations in lung mechanics and cardiac hemodynamics with body fluid volume withdrawal participate in the amelioration of the exercise performance; persistence of benefits is inversely related to the severity of CHF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine